So. Much. Squash. In. My. Garden. This. Year. Better get cooking. Here’s 6 Things To Do With Summer Squash:
It’s strawberry season! Here’s some suggestions for what to do with them.
For this week’s freezer meal to Save Time In The Kitchen, I made muffins. Blueberry muffins because I had frozen blueberries in the freezer. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use frozen berries and the muffins work even better.
I adapted Alton Brown’s muffin recipe. I like this recipe because the yogurt and the addition of wheat flour makes the muffins a bit more nutritious than they’d normally be. (Let’s face it, often muffins are just an excuse to eat cake in the morning.)
To make the muffins into a freezer meal, I made a double batch of the recipe, which ended up being 24 muffins. I left some out for the boys to eat and froze the rest.
Before putting the muffins in a freezer-safe bag, I wrapped each one in wax paper. This does two things: 1. It helps protect the muffins from freezer burn and 2. It keeps them from freezing together in a big clump, making it easy to pull individual muffins out of the bag when needed.
DIY Freezer Meals: Blueberry Muffins
1 cup wheat flour
2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups plain yogurt
2-3 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and yogurt. Don’t over-stir the mixture. You want it to be a shaggy ball. Add blueberries to mixture and stir 3 more times.
Grease 2 muffin pans. Fill each muffin indentation with 1/3 cup batter. Place in the oven and bake 18-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Remove when a knife inserted in the center muffin comes out clean.
To Freeze: Wrap each muffin in wax or parchment paper. Store in a freezer-safe container. To eat, remove a muffin from freezer, let defrost, and enjoy.
A study found that eating more whole grains can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Data from three case-control studies involving 14,427 patients with CHD and 400,492 participants found that people who ate more whole grains were “significantly associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease.”
What are whole grains? Here’s a partial list from the whole grains council.
Corn, including whole cornmeal and popcorn
Oats, including oatmeal
Rice, both brown rice and colored rice
Sorghum (also called milo)
Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut®, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheatberries
So convincing, I just ate some oatmeal.
As with the other meals, my method is to double a batch of whatever it is, serve some for dinner, and put the rest in the freezer.
I’ll admit this time was extra labor intensive because I had to form all the raviolis. However, since homemade ravioli tastes infinitely better, it was worth the work in my book.
Having a couple of dinner’s worth of homemade ravioli in the freezer feels like having gourmet food available that you can pull out any time.
To serve the frozen ravioli, all you have to do is drop them in boiling, salted water and serve with your favorite sauce.
I ended up with about 50 extra ravioli, or three meals worth, plus whatever we ate the first night (about 10?). With ravioli, a few go a long way.
DIY Freezer Meals: Cheese Ravioli
For the Dough:
4 eggs + 1 egg for sealing the ravioli
4 cups flour
6 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup olive oil
For the Filling:
24 ounces ricotta, preferably whole milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Make the Dough:
In a separate bowl, crack four eggs and muddle with a fork. Add the olive oil and water.
Sift 4 cups of flour into a mixer or bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the flour. Mix together for 1 minute on medium speed, or with a spoon or spatula, until you have a shaggy ball.
Knead the dough. I used a dough hook for my mixer and let it run for 3 minutes on medium until the dough became a shiny ball. Alternately, you can turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand.
Let the dough sit for an hour.
For the Filling:
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste for seasoning.
Make the raviolis by running the dough through a pasta machine, filling, and forming the ravioli. I go over my method in detail in this post.
If cooking right away: Heat a pot of boiling water. Add salt. Drop in the raviolis and wait until they float to the surface, about 2-3 minutes. Serve with your favorite sauces, like this simple Butter-Sage Sauce.
If freezing for later use: Put the raw raviolis on a cookie sheet and freeze until hard. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. Label and freeze. On serving day, simply cook the ravioli in boiling salted water, as I mentioned above. Enjoy!
Check it out, a Bigfoot Bundt Cake!
To make it, you cut out the Bigfoots out of chocolate cake with a Bigfoot cookie cutter. Then you place the Bigfoots periodically in the batter.
From the site: “Placing pre-made cake into the center of this bundt doesn’t change the texture, since the batter serves as a protective layer.”
When you cut into the cake, someone occasionally spots the Yeti.
1 1/2 ounce tequila
1 ounce limoncello
1/4 ounce triple sec
1 ounce orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly. Strain into a glass. Enjoy!
I’m continuing my quest to fill my freezer with meals to Save Time In The Kitchen. This time around, I made turkey meatloaf.
Turkey meatloaf is made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. Since it’s lower in fat and calories, it’s a healthy option to have in the freezer on nights when you don’t feel like cooking.
As with the waffles I made last week, I made a double batch of the recipe, served half for dinner and put half away in the freezer.
Since I didn’t want to tie up my loaf pans by putting them in the freezer, I bought foil loaf pans from the Dollar Store. That is the place to get foil cooking containers, by the way. A single foil loaf pan costs $2.99 in my grocery store, but the Dollar Store sold three for $1.
To freeze, I covered the turkey meatloaf with plastic wrap and tinfoil, then I wrote the date, what it is, and brief cooking instructions on the outside. Come serving day, I’ll remove it from the freezer, defrost it, and cook like normal.
Freezer Turkey Meatloaf
Note: This recipe makes 2 turkey meatloafs.
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
3 cups minced onion
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cups chopped parsley
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
2 cups bread crumbs
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pour milk and bread crumbs in a bowl and let soak. Stir in eggs.
Heat oil and garlic in a frying pan. Add onions and cook until soft. Add carrots and cook until soft. Add half the salt and half the pepper and cook, stirring. Stir in parsley and cook until soft.
Add the vegetables to the bread/milk/egg mixture.
Put the ground turkey in a big bowl. Add the bread and vegetables. Add all the other ingredients: Worcestershire sauce, salt, ½ cup ketchup, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Optional: Cook a small amount of the turkey mixture and taste it to make sure it is seasoned to your liking. Adjust accordingly.
Oil two 9X5 loaf pans. Divide turkey meat in half and put into loaf pans. Brush the top with remaining Tablespoons of ketchup.
If cooking right away, put pan in oven and cook 50-55 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the middle of the turkey meatloaf comes out to 170 degrees.
If freezing: cover raw turkey meatloaf with plastic wrap and tin foil, label, and freeze until ready.
Here’s 5 Mint Juleps For The Kentucky Derby. Go, horsie!
Pesto doesn’t have to be basil and pine nuts. It can be lots of combinations of herbs/vegetables, oil, nuts, and cheese. In fact, pesto is a great way to use extra produce. And it freezes well.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (Trying this one tonight.)